A good start for Mr. Obama in reducing the hardships that exist in the poorer segments of this economy — an economy with 13 million more people receiving food stamps than when he took office in 2009, the slowest recovery since World War II, and the lowest percentage of the population in 36 years participating in the labor force — would be to make it his “defining challenge” to discover and publicize how his administration’s policies have weakened economic growth, slowed job creation and lowered income increases, especially in the bottom income quintiles.
Starting off his first term, what didn’t work was Obama’s recovery strategy of bashing “the rich” and selling political boondoggles as “shovel ready” stimulants to employment.
What also didn’t improve job growth, raise incomes, or reduce inequality were the incentives in the Affordable Care Act for companies to switch full-time employees to part-time workers and not expand workforces beyond 49 employees.
As now, as recently announced at the White House, an allegedly more flexible and more pro-business Obama administration will postpone the mandates and penalties applied to midsized firms under ObamaCare until 2016, well beyond this year’s midterm elections, as if the administration’s Rube Goldberg system of health requirements and noncompliance fines will do less harm to businesses and employees in 2016 than in 2014.
Also not helping to increase business expansion and job creation were the dozen or so federal tax increases that kicked in on January 1, 2013 — especially the anti-growth, anti-investment, and anti-jobs tax increase of 33 percent on capital gains and dividends for upper-income taxpayers, the 13 percent tax hike in the top marginal income tax rate, and the ObamaCare surtax on the investment income of upper-income taxpayers.
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